The National Forest Foundation engages Americans in promoting the health and public enjoyment of our National Forests. Over the last few years, the National Forest Foundation has enjoyed impressive organic growth in donor acquisition, driven primarily by their restricted Tree Planting program. In FY17, NFF planted 1.8M trees, followed by 2.8M in FY18 and most recently, 5M trees planted in FY19.
NFF was looking to take the opportunity to build on this organic growth and set a strong foundation for future growth that emphasizes unrestricted gifts for ALL of their programming, including:
While the NFF had made impressive gains in their tree planting efforts over the years, they needed to take a step back and think holistically in order to take their online individual giving program to the next level. This included everything from source code tracking and email segmentation, to campaign logistics and performance measurement.
They knew they wanted to start shifting the balance from “restricted” tree-planting gifts to “unrestricted” gifts that could be used more freely to create the greatest amount of impact. Additionally, NFF’s aimed to raise an additional $100,000 in unrestricted gifts. In order achieve their ambitious goals, they knew they needed to increase their overall brand awareness and stand out from other “competitors” in the environmental sector as a whole and the tree-planting space in particular.
We developed a holistic, multi-channel approach that prioritizes unrestricted revenue while continuing to leverage tree-planting as a means of donor acquisition. We deployed highly targeted direct response fundraising ads across Facebook, Instagram, and Google to generate funds during the wildfire season and throughout the year-end giving period.
Increase YOY unrestricted revenue
Increase in the # of online gifts
Increase in total revenue raised
Data Measurement Plan + Technical Integration:
Verified good UX while prioritizing unrestricted:
Implemented a Donor First Approach
Developed life-cycle based and activity-based email segmentation strategy and outbound strategy.
We created new donor query groups that were tied to donor data fields that were now being included as part of the improved integrations. With the new donation data now in their CRM, we created segments breaking out Active vs Lapsed vs Non-Donors, Sustaining vs One-Time Donors, separate Mid Level and Major giving segments and groups that rolled up All Active Donors and All Lapsed Donors.
Prior to our work with NFF, they had no segmentation across their email file, nor was their much connection in data between their MailChimp CRM and their donor database, eTapestry. We helped them develop the segments described above using queries in MailChimp and new donor data updated from eTapestry using the Zapier integration we helped set up.
Tree Planting v. Gifts of Nature testing in paid media:
Collectively, the NFF issued 180 grants or contracts in FY 2019. Not included tree planting, NFF invested $7.4M in federal and private funds, which were leveraged with $13.1M in partner-raised funds for a total conservation value of $20.5M.